Alan Ball, the brains behind the True Blood franchise, is developing a medical drama inspired by the late Dr. George Tiller.
Wichita will be an hour-long drama about a Kansas surgeon who inadvertently becomes the focal point of a contemporary political, cultural and ethical war. Ball has signed on as executive producer with writer Devin Friedman providing the script and serving as co-executive producer. HBO is also behind the series.
It will be interesting to see the direction Ball and Friedman take this inspiration. Dr. Tiller is a man who, even in death, draws sharp responses. He is beloved or reviled, depending on who you talk to, so any show that uses Tiller as inspiration will likely draw similar initial reactions.
But developing a series like this has real potential to humanize, rather than ostracize, abortion providers and their patients. Abortion is, after all, health care and abortion providers are simply surgeons. Dr. Tiller famously insisted he started out simply doing his job as the political climate changed around him to one where his assassination was in some ways a tragic inevitability.
Perhaps Wichita can help change that course and change the way we talk about abortion and the women who have them. If that can happen then maybe, just maybe, our politics can change as well.
Photo from infowidget via flickr.